We are delighted to announce the two artists voted by the public to receive commissions as part of the Somewhere in Ely project.

Ely-based ceramicist Louise Beale and sculptor Mike Hartley will both receive a commission of £1800 to make and share their work in Ely this year.

Somewhere in Ely is an outdoor arts project that was launched in the city earlier this year with the support of Babylon Arts, Ely Markets and Ely College.  Artists, makers and creators from across the country were invited to propose ideas for fun and unexpected things to happen in the city.  There were over 70 proposals offering performances, sculpture, installations, activities and events.  It was the job of Ely residents to vote on the final five shortlisted artists.  The two artists with the highest number of votes have been awarded commissions to share in Ely during October half term.

Mike Hartley makes kinetic sculptures using recycled materials.  He is developing a fantastical contraption called the ‘The Yesterday and Tomorrow Machine.’  We’ll share photos of him working in a forge on our social media channels over the coming weeks.

Louise Beale is a ceramic artist based in Ely.  Her vision is to bring an installation of hundreds of ceramic sculptures to our city.  Louise is inviting local people to get involved in and will be giving away free making kits to anyone who is interested.

Local residents are invited to get involved from August to September.  If you would like to try your hand at making a model out of air-dry clay please get in touch.  Louise will be giving away ‘making packs’ to Ely residents, families, businesses, schools and care homes.  The packs include clay, paint and materials, and all the instructions you will need to make your own mini artwork.

You can collect a FREE making pack from Babylon Gallery from 17th August.  You can also collect your pack from Ely Market on selected days (more details of this to follow).  Alternatively you can contact Louise directly for a pack to be delivered to your door - louise_ceramics@hotmail.co.uk




The Somewhere in Ely project is the creation of local artist and project manager Amy Wormald.  With the support of Babylon Arts, Amy secured funding as a freelancers to make the project happen.  In autumn 2019 we started talking to Ely Markets, Ely College and Isle of Ely Arts Festival about the project idea.  In spring 2020 Amy talked to local residents, visited groups and discussed the project with students at Ely College.  The information gathered helped to inform a creative brief.  This is the document we used to invite artists and creatives to respond with proposals for new artwork in Ely.

We received over 70 submissions from a whole range of creative people, who wanted to make something fun and interesting happen in our City.  In May 2020 the project steering group shortlisted 5 proposals who would then pitch their ideas for local residents to choose.  Each of the 5 artists made a 2-minute film to explain their idea.  People who live and work in Ely were then be invited to look at the film pitches and vote for the two ideas they would most like to see happen. You can see the short videos here on the Babylon Arts YouTube channel.  (Please note public voting is now closed).

The two artist proposals with the highest votes have been awarded a £1800 commission to share their work in Ely in October 2020.  The winning two artists chosen by the public are Louise Beale and Mike Hartley.

You can follow the project on Instagram here.


This project is managed by Amy Wormald in partnership with Babylon ArtsIsle of Ely Arts FestivalEly Markets and Ely College.  The project is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

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